slow session: city policy for slow food, 5/16/2012

Location: Palm Square Community Center, Conference Room 1000, 100 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd  Austin, TX 78701
RSVP: email Chelsea Staires
Due to circumstances beyond our control, our session will be cancelled and postponed.  We apologize for the late notice- hopefully it is not too late for you to make other plans.  We aim to reset this session for June and will keep you all posted.  Thank you so much for your support of Slow Food Austin and we will see you soon.

Ever wonder what the Austin City Government does to help improve local food quality and responsibility?  Come to the next Slow Session and hear from members of Austin’s Sustainable Food Policy Board to find out!
In this Slow Session, you’ll learn about the SFPB commission formation, mission, operations, month to month happenings, and strategic future plans.  Find out how you can support the SFPB and help the City of Austin improve our food quality.

About the SFPB from:
Advisory body to the City Council and Travis County Commissioners’ Court concerning the need to improve the availability of safe, nutritious, locally, and sustainably-grown food at reasonable prices for all residents, particularly those in need, by coordinating the relevant activities of city government, as well as non-profit organizations, and food and farming businesses.

slow session: the essentials of refrigerator pickling, 4/11/2012

Date: Wednesday April 11, 2012  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Chef Sonya Cote’s Urban Kitchen: 2104 Rosewood Avenue, Austin, Texas 78702
(It’s a blue house on top of the hill just past Chicon as you are heading east from downtown.)
Recommendations for Parking:
Parking is available on Northwestern (free street parking)
The Learning Center parking lot on the corner of Rosewood and Northwestern
The Church parking lot on Rosewood and Coleto
Also, there is parking on Coleto St and Alamo – the two street surrounding the hill where the house is located
RSVP: Only 20 seats are available. Please email Chelsea Staires at

Spring and summer veggies will be coming up soon!  Come to our April Slow Session to learn how to put up some of the beautiful bounty from your home garden, neighborhood local farmers’ market, or farm stand from Kate Payne, author of The Hip Girls’ Guide to Homemaking and Austin’s resident hip homemaker extraordinaire.

In this Slow Session, you’ll learn the basics of refrigerator pickling, a quicker, convenient, less labor intensive way to store your fresh veggies and create delicious snacks, meal accompaniments, and gifts!  This method applies to cucumbers of course, but much more including zucchini, artichokes, eggplant, and peppers.

About Kate Payne:
Kate Payne is an author, grant writer, after-hours poet, occasional painter, committed doodler, drive-by trash collector, big-time procrastinator, tea, toast and jam obsessed Austinite. She collects old typewriters; some of them still work. She studied anthropology and sociology in the Sonoran Desert. She worked on a tomato farm once, and paper-mached gigantic thumbs once, too.

The creator of the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking website and book, Kate is the go to girl for domestic advice–an expert on hip home tricks, thrift stores, flea markets, and Craigslist, and a frequent consultant for design, decorating, cooking, crafting, and urban living sites–as well as an instructor in canning and pickling classes here in Austin, TX.

Kate Payne

slow session: slow down with food on wheels: austin’s food trailers, 3/14/2012

Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Habitat Suites Conference Room, 500 East Highland Mall Boulevard  Austin, TX 78752
RSVP: Please email Chelsea Staires at

We know you love Austin’s delicious and thought-provoking trailer food movement as much as we do.  So we invite you to join us as Tiffany Harelik, founder of Austin’s wildly popular Gypsy Picnic and the force behind The Trailer Food Diaries (one of Culture Map’s Favorite Austin Food Blogs) and TFD cookbooks, talks with us about what’s keeping the trailer food movement rolling on full force.  This Slow Session will include discussion on:

  • What’s happening with the food trailer phenomenon in Austin and across the US
  • What it takes to open and run a food trailer
  • How trailer food is different than restaurant food
  • How trailer food is actually Slow Food!

About Tiffany Harelik:
The dynamic 4th generation Austinite and Trailer Food guru Tiffany Harelik offers a fun blend of professional enthusiasm and sexy hometown charm that the broader foodie & locavore audiences will find both humorous and interesting. With her Masters’ degree in Health Psychology, and a passion for sustainable health and green living, Tiffany is a strong advocate in eating locally, minimizing negative environmental impact and leaving the camp site a little better place than when she set up the tent. She has been engaged in a number of visionary projects and enjoys yoga, biking and playing with her foster dogs from the Heart of Texas Labrador Rescue. She also loves equestrian sports, cooking for friends, traveling and writing.

Tiffany is inspired by her great-grandfather Haskell Harelik who came to the states as a Russian immigrant and opened a banana food-cart in the early 1900’s. Without speaking a word of English, he pursued the American dream one penny and one banana at a time. This entrepreneurial endeavor ultimately led to opening 5 general stores in central Texas called “Harelik’s. She remains inspired by Haskell, whose ideas and work ethics allowed him to live his dreams while providing for his family and having a smile on his face even during the toughest of times.

slow session: the mighty cocoa bean, 2/8/2012

Date: Wednesday, February 8th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Gallery Black Lagoon, 4301 A. Guadalupe Street, Austin TX, 78751 (Parking is available in the shared parking lot with The Parlor Pizza Restaurant next door, as well as 70 parking spots below the office building directly behind the gallery.)
RSVP: Please email Chelsea Staires at
See the Event page on Facebook

Spark your romance with chocolate just in time for Valentine’s Day as Austin foodpreneur Tom Pedersen of Austin’s wonderful Cocoa Puro teaches us all about chocolate.  This Slow Session will include:

-A presentation from Tom about how cacao is grown
-Discussion on the look, feel, and taste of the bean itself
-A demonstration of how to make rough chocolate
-Information on where you can find ingredients for chocolate here in Austin

And tastings of white, milk, and dark chocolates as well as Cocoa Puro’s famous Kakawa Cocoa Beans!

About Tom Pedersen:

I have an art/music/writing background. I’m self trained in the culinary world. I always wanted my own business and had a passion for great food. I wondered what made chocolate tick, learned it was the bean, got some from the President of a Venezuelan chocolate company, and experimented until I created Kakawa Cocoa Beans. I tried them out on friends then brought them to the downtown Austin farmers’ market and sold out our first day. They were selected for the Saveur 100, editors’ favorites from around the world, and received other local and national praise. That encouraged us to build a small family artisan business, concentrating on creative products from fine flavor cocoa beans.

Cocoa Puro
Kakawa Cocoa Beans
Pure Whole Bean Chocolate

slow session: masa mojo, 12/12/2011

Date: Monday December 12th 2011, 7 pm – 9 pm
Location: The Natural Epicurean Academy, 1700 S. Lamar Blvd. Suite #316, Austin, TX 78704

Join us as Hector Gonzalez, outstanding Interior Mexican cook and instructor, teaches us the fine art of masa preparation. The session will cover the culinary history of masa and tortillas; the different types of corn available in Austin and which are the best for tortilla making. Hector will also demonstrate:

• How to nixtamalize the corn and grind it using both old methods and new ones
• The basic method for making tortillas with different corns (yellow, white, blue)
• How to make other Mexican specialties using masa.

The Natural Epicurean Culinary Academy will be providing house salsa and guacamole to accompany the masa dishes made and the session will end with a raffle to give away of some of the materials used during the class. Make sure to RSVP to

About Hector…

Hector González is a self-taught cook and foodie whose inspiration draws from his native country of Mexico and from the kitchens of his mother and grandmother. Hector offers insight into the preparation of long-established recipes in an ongoing quest to revise the American concept of Mexican cuisine. The classes he offers for other home chefs teach traditional recipes that have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed in Mexican households everyday.

slow session: holiday hard cider, 11/14/2011

Date: Monday, November 14th 2011, 7pm – 9pm
Location: Habitat Suites, 500 East Highland Mall Boulevard Austin, Texas 78752

The holidays are here and what better way to celebrate and spread the cheer than with homemade Texas cider! In this Slow Session we will learn how to make apple cider from Wes Mickel, owner of Argus Cidery and creator of Texas’ first sparkling American hard cider. In addition, Wes will also talk about Texas’ great potential for apple farming, heirloom apples, and what lies ahead for cider making here in the Lone Star State. There will also be an opportunity for those who want to place orders to purchase some of Argus Cidery’s highly acclaimed sparkling cider.

This event is free and open to everyone in the community but will fill fast. Please send an RSVP to

slow session: friends, farms, and food day, 10/10/2011

Date: Monday, October 10th, 7 pm – 9 pm
Location: Springdale Farm, 755 Springdale Road, Austin, Texas 78702

This year on October 24th, cities across the U.S. will be celebrating Food Day, a day in which people from all walks of life come together to voice their support for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. In preparation for the Food Day events happening later in the month, Slow Food Austin will be having a Dine and Discuss Potluck of appetizers, drinks, and desserts at the lovely Springdale Farm. Come catch up with friends, enjoy the evening air, introduce the kids to the farm animals, exchange recipes, and discuss how we as a community can work together to support and nurture good, clean, and fair food. To get the dialogue going, a panel of Austin Food Champions; Katy Levit, Happy Kitchen Developer at Sustainable Food Center, Judith McGeary, founder and director of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and Glenn Foore, owner and farmer of Springdale farm will each be discussing their field of expertise as it relates to the Food Day principles. The session will end with an open dialogue and unveiling of the upcoming events going on around town to celebrate Food Day on October 24th.

This session is free and open to everyone in the community. Slow Food Austin will provide some snacks and beverages. Bring a chair, a friend, a favorite appetizer, dessert, or drink and RSVP to

slow session: tales of the texas cocktail, 7/11/2011

Date: Monday July 11th, 7pm – 9pm
Location: Foreign and Domestic, 5306 E.53rd Street, Austin, TX 78751

Infinite stories surround the genesis of the cocktail – that delicious concoction of mixed spirits, juices and bitters, we Texans love to drink.

Shaken or stirred, neat or dirty, with olives or without bitters, one thing is certain, whatever their origin, cocktails are here to stay.

In this month’s Slow Session, Garrett Mikell, virtuoso bartender at Peche and cocktail columnist for Austin Lifestyle Magazine, will be discussing the history of spirits and cocktails and providing a tasting tour of quite a few. Come discover the newest concoctions,variations of old favorites, as well as, the folks in Texas producing spirits to quench our thirst for them.

Since the location of this event will be at the innovative and intimate restaurant, Foreign and Domestic, space will be limited so send an RSVP to


slow session: old truck. new farm! 6/13/2011

Date: Monday June 13th, 7 pm – 9 pm
Location: Swoop House, 3012 Gonzales Street, Austin, TX 78762

Slow Food Austin and Austin Urban Gardens invites you the the special summer screening of the whimsical and educational documentary Truck Farm.

Enjoy the summer evening outside with local farm finger foods, cold drinks, and what the Huffington Post is calling “the coolest urban agriculture project around.” Old Truck. New Farm! a new documentary from the filmmakers behind the award-winning King Corn, tells the story of a new generation of American farmers. Using green roof technology and heirloom seeds, filmmaker Ian Cheney plants a vegetable garden on the only piece of land he’s got: his grandad’s old pickup. Once the mobile garden begins to sprout, viewers are trucked across New York to see the city’s funkiest urban farms, and to find out if America’s largest city can learn to feed itself. Blending serious exposition with serious silliness, Truck Farm entreats viewers to ponder the future of urban farming, and to consider whether sustainability needs a dose of whimsy to be truly sustainable.

Film will begin when the sun goes down and the breeze kicks in, so please bring your own seating, be it a blanket, lawn chair or friend. Space is limited so RSVP is required: